As President Obama’s approval ratings have tumbled in 2014, polling news has practically vanished from the Big Three evening newscasts — in stunning contrast to how those same newscasts relentlessly emphasized polls showing bad news for George W. Bush during the same phase of his presidency.
Rich Noyes is currently Research Director at the Media Research Center where he is co-editor of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, and the Media Reality Check, a regular analysis of how major news stories are distorted or ignored.
Noyes has authored or co-authored many of MRC’s authoritative Special Reports, including: The Censorship Election: How the Broadcast Networks Buried the Bad News That Threatened Barack Obama’s Quest for a Second Term; TV’s Tea Party Travesty: How ABC, CBS and NBC Have Dismissed and Disparaged the Tea Party Movement; Cheerleaders for the Revolution: Network Coverage of Barack Obama’s First 100 Days; Better Off Red? Twenty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Recalling the Liberal Media’s Blindness to the Evils of Communism; and Megaphone for a Dictator: CNN’s Coverage of Fidel Castro's Cuba, 1997-2002.
An expert with nearly 30 years of experience studying the news media’s impact on U.S. politics, Noyes has discussed the issue of liberal bias on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and dozens of radio talk shows, and has authored articles which have appeared in the Journal of Political Science, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Roll Call and Human Events.
Now online: the September 8 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, NBC tries to cover for Obama's chaotic statements on ISIS, with NBC's Chuck Todd straining to explain the President's "no strategy, yet" blunder even as Nightly News anchor Brian Williams absurdly claims Obama was “clear and unambiguous” when he said he wanted to "destroy" ISIS, then moments later said his goal was to make them a “manageable problem.”
While promoting a book of news photography on CBS This Morning on Saturday, Sir Harold Evans, editor at large of the Reuters news agency, called the electric chair a “monstrosity” and said seeing a picture of one was “almost as appalling, in its sense, as these barbarians who have taken the heads off journalists in the desert.”
Now online: the August 25 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, journalists pronounce the blatantly partisan indictment of Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry a “blemish” that could “mar his legacy,” even as an MSNBC regular blasts it “the stupidest thing I’ve seen in my entire career.”
Also: an MSNBC contributor declares the shooting of Michael Brown evidence of America’s “war on black boys” that could metastasize into “genocide;” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell declares Al Sharpton’s foray into Ferguson is really a “peace mission;” and Rolling Stone prints this hilarity: “Barack Obama never had reporters eating out of his hand the way that right-wingers love to allege.” Highlights are posted after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 21 quotes (six with video) at www.MRC.org.
What’s the difference between a political scandal involving a Republican and one involving a Democrat? When it comes to news coverage, reporters almost always identify the political party of a Republican caught in a scandal, but when the culprit is a Democrat, the party label is usually left out of the story.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but not many. To prove the point, here’s how ABC, CBS and NBC have identified (or failed to identify) the figures in 16 political scandals — 8 Democrats, 8 Republicans — as documented by NewsBusters during the past few years:
Now online: the August 4 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews sleazily blasts GOP voters who reacted with “dread” to Barack Obama — “that name and that face” — and who now would impeach him for no reason: “They never went looking for a reason. They never needed one. It was not what he did. It was, from the outset, who he was.”
Also, Univision’s Jorge Ramos lectures Hillary Clinton that “no government should be in the business of deporting endangered children,” while MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry equates the sending of National Guard troops to the border with 1950s segregation. Highlights are posted after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 20 quotes at www.MRC.org.
Now online: the July 14 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, former ABC News political director Mark Halperin blurts the truth about the media's neglect of the IRS scandal: "With a different administration, one that was a Republican administration, this story would be a national obsession."
But two days later, NBC News political director Chuck Todd suggested it was all a Republican ploy: "Are there any actual real victims?" while a longtime White House correspondent insists the press corps "would be galloping after" the IRS story if there was only "proof of a crime." Highlights are posted after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 20 quotes at www.MRC.org.
Now online: the June 23 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, as Hillary Clinton embarks on a book tour, feminist journalists urge her to run for President. “If not you, who?” lobbied longtime NBC anchor Jane Pauley, now with CBS.
As for Hillary’s gaffes, such as claims she and her husband were “dead broke” when the couple left the White House in 2001, the supposed watchdogs in the press find them “refreshing” evidence that Hillary is “not as scripted” as she was eight years ago. Highlights are posted after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 20 quotes at www.MRC.org.
In its annual survey of the public's faith in 17 key institutions, TV news has fallen to a new low, with only the U.S. Congress ranking below it in terms of public esteem.
Just 18 percent of U.S. adults say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in TV news, down from 23 percent who gave those answers last year. The previous record low was in 2012, when just 21 percent said they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in TV news.
Not even Diane Sawyer could refrain from gently pushing back at former Secretary of State and prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January 2001. Talking about the huge fees both Clintons now rake in for speaking engagements, Sawyer wondered: “Do you think Americans are going to understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?”
But Sawyer could easily have gone to ABC’s own videotape library to show how preposterous Mrs. Clinton’s claim of poverty was. Back on December 15, 2000 — more than a month before the Clintons left the White House — ABC’s World News Tonight suggested the massive book advance for Hillary Clinton’s post-White House memoir was astonishing and perhaps corrupt for an incoming United States Senator. [Video and transcripts after the jump.]
Now online: the June 9 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, left-wing journalists rally to Obama's defense on the prisoner swap, blasting Republicans for "swiftboating" Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl and claiming that the five newly-freed Taliban leaders would have a "negligible" effect on the war.
Also, NBC's Brian Williams calls Obama's foreign policy "muscular, if not militaristic," ABC is pleased Hillary Clinton has "come out swinging" against Benghazi critics, while a CNN "news" anchor thinks Michelle Obama can sign laws into effect. Highlights after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 22 quotes at www.MRC.org.
Forget about Barack Obama’s ultra-liberal policies — should Americans now be worried about the mental health of the current occupant of the White House? That was the alarming suggestion Fox Business Network viewers heard Tuesday evening.
Talking about the bewildering decision to trade five “high risk” Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Lou Dobbs Tonight, psychology expert Dr. Gina Loudon said she has become “very, very concerned” that President Obama has become “irrational, erratic and perhaps not exactly what we might want to deem sane.” [Video and transcript after the jump.]
Now online: the May 26 edition of Notable Quotables, MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous quotes in the liberal media. This week, CNN’s top executive boasts that his network will not be “shamed” into covering congressional hearings about the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, as if engaging in actual journalism is something to be avoided.
Also, the media leap to defend Hillary Clinton after Karl Rove dared to doubt her health, with network reporters denouncing his “smear campaign” and “reprehensible comments.” Highlights are posted after the jump; the entire issue is posted online, with 21 quotes at www.MRC.org
Summary: After a partisan report last June absurdly suggested that progressive groups were just as likely to be scrutinized as conservative ones, ABC, CBS and NBC essentially abandoned their coverage of the IRS targeting scandal which broke one year ago this week. After producing 136 stories on their morning and evening news show during the first seven weeks of the scandal, broadcast news coverage dried up, with just 14 more reports over the next 10 months, as the Big Three ignored numerous damning developments in the case.
[Full report after the jump.]
NBC’s Today devoted a full story Thursday morning to speculation that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush might run for President in 2016. Correspondent Andrea Mitchell vouched for Bush’s “conservative” credentials, then ran a snarky soundbite from Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent political strategist Mark McKinnon: “He said he wants to run joyfully, and in today’s Republican primaries, that’s pretty tough to do.”
Mitchell correctly noted how Bush is “at odds with his party’s base” because of he has “endorsed the Obama Administration’s Common Core education curriculum and he’s passionate about the human side of immigration reform.” But rather than citing a mainstream conservative who has criticized Bush, Mitchell instead employed a soundbite from gadfly businessman Donald Trump.
It's no secret that most Hollywood celebrities are enthusiastic supporters of President Obama and his liberal policies, but on Fox's Cashin' In on Saturday, 1970s M*A*S*H star Wayne ("Trapper John") Rogers, now a successful businessman and investor, tore into the news media for shielding the President.
Host Eric Bolling set up the moment by listing miserable economic indicators such as the high poverty rate, low employment participation rate and record number of people on food stamps, then asked Rogers to explain: "How is this President held in such high esteem by the Left?" [Rogers' answer and the video after the jump.]
Both ABC and CBS carved out a few seconds on their Thursday evening and Friday morning newscasts to boost President Obama’s claims of success for his ObamaCare program. Filling in for Diane Sawyer, ABC World News anchor David Muir cheered the “major milestone” of an alleged eight million enrollees, while CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley said the enrollment figures were a “recent success” for the health care law.
Gone was the skepticism that some reporters, like ABC’s Jon Karl, showed at the end of March when ObamaCare was nearing seven million sign-ups, as he threw cold water on the official White House stat: “How many of those have signed up were previously uninsured....We don’t know how many people signed up here were simply – had their previous plans cancelled. Also, we don’t know how many have actually paid their premiums.”
The showdown between federal authorities and rancher Cliven Bundy, his family and supporters in Nevada is one of those rare topics from the libertarian-conservative news agenda that actually made its way into the establishment media. Between last Thursday and Monday, ABC, CBS and NBC gave the story a total of nearly 16 minutes of coverage on their morning and evening newscasts.
Network journalists have consistently framed the case as one of a rancher failing to pay the requested fees for his use of government land. But they have failed to use the case to tell the larger story of how environmental rules — in this case, regulations to protect the desert tortoise, have been implemented in ways that help favored interests (land developers, or solar companies) while hurting others (cattle ranchers, for example).
It was quite a contrast: Just a couple of hours before CNN's Piers Morgan signed off with a slashing attack on gun rights and the NRA, longtime CNBC host Larry Kudlow ended his final broadcast with a stirring tribute to the power of freedom and faith. "It is freedom that makes this the greatest country in the world," Kudlow told his viewers before recounting how faith in God helped him overcome addiction two decades ago. "And it is that faith that guides me every day."
In the NBC-MSNBC-CNBC universe, Kudlow's was a rare voice championing conservative values, optimistically and enthusiastically, every night. With the end of his nightly show (he will appear as a contributor on CNBC's other programs), the media landscape will regrettably have one less program devoted to championing free market capitalism.
Below the jump, you can watch video of Kudlow's farewell, plus a partial transcript.
Unquestionably, ObamaCare is the central political issue of 2014. As the midterm election campaign moves forward, liberal politicians will have to justify their support for a program that has cost millions of individuals their insurance; will raise premiums for most small businesses; imposes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes; and will cost, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the equivalent of two million jobs over the next three years.
But so far this year, the three network evening newscasts have minimized, spun or ignored every negative development about ObamaCare, while at the same time touting staged pro-ObamaCare publicity stunts, such as the President’s appearance on a Web-based comedy show in March.